Synergy Health and Wellness

Mind Body Soul

5 Signs You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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5 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

At the beginning of the week we discussed the importance of sleep and one of the sleep disorders that severely disrupts sleep is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is experienced by nearly 42 Million Americans with 1 in 5 having mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and 1 in 15 having moderate to severe OSA There are three types of Sleep Apnea; the most common OSA which is caused when throat muscles relax and two less common types, Central Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. In this article we will discuss the more common OSA.

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The following are some signs and symptoms:

1. Snoring – Often loud snoring followed by gasping, stops in breathing or choking are usually reported by significant others
2. Morning Headaches – Sleep apnea usually causes an increase in carbon dioxide and reduction in oxygen levels in the blood both of which can cause morning headaches which are usually resolved within 30 minutes of waking (as oxygen levels increase and carbon dioxide is expelled). Increasing carbon dioxide levels cause blood vessels to dilate resulting in throbbing and pounding headaches. If you get morning headaches as a result of sleep apnea it usually means that the sleep apnea is moderate to severe.
3. Inability to Concentrate – Due to the lack of restful and restorative sleep. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up more than 6 times per hour therefore they do not obtain enough restorative sleep leading to brain fog and lack of concentration
4. Fatigue Again, like number 3 patients do not get restorative sleep, wake multiple times per hour and spend many hours with decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels, all lend to fatigue.
5. Dry Mouth or Sore Throat when Waking – due to sleeping with mouth open and dehydration of mucus membranes
6. Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings Due to fatigue, lack of sleep, decreased oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide

Picture of Sleep Apnea Unfortunately the following are increased risk factors for OSA. Male, overweight, BMI >30, Waist Circumference >40, Alcohol, Smoking, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome

Treatment
To definitively diagnose OSA patients will need Polysomnography testing. This may not be available to many populations. In the absence of testing a good clinical history, physical and assessment can be completed. Patients are encouraged to :

A. Lose weight (if appropriate)
B. Encourage to sleep on side
C. Refrain from Alcohol and Smoking
D. Exercise
E. Allergy Medications to decrease inflammation and mucus production which may help open airway passages

For those who do have a PSG, CPAP or a Mandibular Repositioning device may be recommended or Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy.

Outlook:
Left untreated OSA is debilitating and can lead to depression, anxiety, decreased libido, increased accidents. Patients who employ positive lifestyle changes often see improvement in energy levels and mood. In addition there are interventions such as CPap and Mandible Repositioning Devices that will help the patient obtain better more restorative sleep.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.
Thanks Dolores
Synergy Health and Wellness
Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net
http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net

Author: Synergy Health and Wellness

Hi and thanks for visiting Synergy Health and Wellness. I’m Dolores, a Board Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and my focus is to make a difference in the Lives, Health and Wellness of my patients. My career began in Broward General a busy inner city hospital with a robust Emergency and Level 1 Trauma department with over 350 patient visits per day. In addition to ED and Trauma I also had 1 year experience in the area of Liver transplant providing care to pateints from all over the United States. My experience working in the emergency department lead me to become more and more frustrated with the repetitive patient ailments that could have been treated with education in diet, exercise and overall Health and Wellness. I came to see that we spent more time, effort, money and resources treating diseases and chronic health conditions rather than focusing on prevention. This opened my eyes to adult Health, women’s Health, the problem of addiction and holistic preventative Health and Wellness which would change the direction of my career. Returning to school my focus became Health, Wellness, Prevention and Maintenance and the treatment of the whole person, mind, body and soul. My masters thesis research concentrated on the development of a nursing model using Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners in the workplace and outpatient settings to ensure population compliance with routine preventive screening, preventative medicine and education of patient populations which would eventually decrease future medical problems for individuals and corporate employees. This model utilizes other specialties such as dieticians, personal trainers and fitness professionals, chiropractors, and mind-body specialists who provide yoga and meditation for stress relief and general improvements in Health and wellbeing. My masters level thesis demonstrates that a synergistic approach to health and wellbeing will be the future model for healthcare and prevention and forms the basis of my everyday practice. In my free time I practice the Healthy lifestyle that preach and try to instill in my patients. I enjoy weight training, running, competitive obstacle events and I actively participate in local community events by participating and volunteering to support local charities. Stop by and see me at Synergy Health and Wellness for personalized health and wellness assessment and treatment plans treating mind-body and soul.

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